Sunday, September 9, 2007

Specter's Support for Craig Angers Senate Republicans

In the Chicago Sun Times, Robert Novak writes:

While Senate Republicans reflected outrage that Sen. Larry Craig was retreating from his earlier statement that he would resign from the Senate, their privately expressed anger was directed toward Sen. Arlen Specter for encouraging Craig to reconsider.
The Idaho senator appeared ready to resign because he pleaded guilty to improper conduct in a Minnesota airport restroom, but he modified his position after he heard Specter on the Fox News Network say he should not quit. A misdirected voicemail disclosing Craig's tactics cited Specter's comments as reason for contemplating a fight.

Specter, a moderate from Pennsylvania, was grateful to Craig as a rare conservative senator who backed him vigorously when an effort was made after the 2004 elections to prevent Specter from becoming Judiciary Committee chairman.

After privately being told by Republicans to stop boosting Craig, Specter on Thursday contended he had said all he would say about the controversy.

The Idaho senator seemed ready to resign until he heard Specter say he should stay.